Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Make Word Open A Normal Blank Page*

I apologize for so many re-posts lately, but…

Today’s “quick tip” is in response to a reader question, and I think it is one of those that can be helpful to ‘everyone’.

Q: I created a newsletter using Word. I used Segoe Script sized to 16. Now whenever I want to write a new Word document, it is stuck on that setting, and I have to tell it to use Times New Roman, and change the size each time. MS Word document icon
It never used to do that. How do I make it like it was before?

A: The answer lies in the fact that when you create a new Word document (File > New > Blank document), Word uses its default “style template”– which is known as Normal.dot (note the “t”, for “template”.)
This “normal” template has the predefined settings we’ve all come to know and love: Times New Roman (font), 12 (pts), Left (Align), Borders, etc.

Somehow, the reader has “Saved” the style they used in the newsletter to the Normal.dot (maybe they selected “Save As”, and then “Template” ? ), or Normal.dot has just gotten corrupted.

There’s two ways (at least) to repair this behavior– the manual way and the automatic way.
1) Create a new default template:
* Open a new blank document.
* Change each setting to how you want your Word docs to look each time (such as Times, 12, Left, etc.).
* Now click “Save As”. Select “Document Template” in the File type box, and type “Normal” (no quotes) in the File name box.
* If warned that Normal already exists, do you want to overwrite the file?, answer “Yes”.
Now, whatever options you’ve selected will be what Word uses when creating a new blank document.
[note: this is how you get rid of Times New Roman for keeps, if you’re a sans serif type.]

2) Automatic replace Normal.dot:
* Use the Search tool to find the Normal.dot file on your hard drive C:\. (Start >Search >Files and Folders)
* In the Results pane, right-click on Normal.dot and select “Rename”. Rename it to anything other than Normal.
* Close, and then restart Word (in some cases, a computer reboot was required)

Word will discover that there is now no Normal.dot, and it will create a new “factory fresh” one for you automatically.

Today’s free download: Foxit Reader (Ditch Adobe Reader)
” Incredibly small:  Breezing-fast: Annotation tool: Foxit Reader allows you to draw graphics, highlight text, type text and make notes and then print out or save the annotated document. Text converter: You may convert the whole PDF document into a simple text file.

* Orig post: 12/02/08

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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January 5, 2010 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, MS Word, software, tech, troubleshooting, word processors | , , , , , , , , , ,

24 Comments »

  1. […] Tech-for Everyone How To Make Word Open A Normal Blank Page* […]

    Like

    Pingback by Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#42) « What's On My PC | January 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. i went to excel and placed the table in word now it can not delete and the table spreadsheet is till there what can i do to make word blank and normal again

    Like

    Comment by Anonymous | December 11, 2011 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      Uh… did you try the steps in the article?

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | December 11, 2011 | Reply

  3. actually when i open word , i can find 2 pages in one screen. i wanted to remove that . please help me out….

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    Comment by ashwini | April 6, 2012 | Reply

    • ashwini,
      Look under the View menu, and change it back to “Show one page”.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. when I open a blank document, I have a grid on it and I tried your second suggestion and it comes up “no file found” I am not familiar enough with word to use first suggestion. How and what do I create a new default since I don’t know what it should be? Tx.

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    Comment by Anonymous | August 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      You do not tell me which version of Word you are using, but you may merely have to go into the “View” menu, and uncheck “Show gridlines” (or “Show Rulers and Gridlines”).

      Or you may have to do as the article describes, and delete the normal.dot file. If you cannot locate that file.. you might try the Windows “Search” tool (Click on the Start button) then look for the Search box (and magnifying glass icon). Type in “normal.dot” (no quotes) and hit Enter. When the search tool locates it, right-click on the name normal.dot and select “delete” (or drag it to the Recycle bin).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 23, 2012 | Reply

      • thank you for the answer..its working fine now….

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        Comment by Anonymous | May 24, 2017 | Reply

  5. when opening Word i am not getting a full page in which to create a new document, what i see is a little page in the upper left corner and i dont know how to change can you please help
    Thank you in advance.

    Like

    Comment by Denise | October 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Denise,
      Um… There are a couple of reasons that might be. But I do not know which version of Word you have so..

      Try adjusting the “magnification” slider switch (aka “Zoom”) to 100% (or “Full”) and/or changing your setting in the View menu.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | October 25, 2012 | Reply

  6. Hi, my name is Chris, and I must be having a Senior moment, because I cannot find blank page anywhere in choices! I know i’m looking right at it, but it’s not biting me. Please help me find a new, blank page in word – it’s been a while since I used it! Thanks in advance!

    Like

    Comment by Chris Smith | November 23, 2014 | Reply

    • Chris Smith,
      The blank/empty “new document”, when Word first launches/opens, is a “template” (a “.dot”, not a ‘document’, “.doc” or “.docx”). you need to follow the instructions in the article above to tell Word to create a new default ‘blank template’.

      Alternatively, you can erase, edit, adjust, an existing document (to the font, margins, etc. that you like) and “Save As” it to the Templates folder with the name “normal.dot” (save as file type “template”).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 23, 2014 | Reply

  7. I have tried everything in the points and still get an older doc title starting every new balnk document… HELP!

    Like

    Comment by RB | March 10, 2017 | Reply

    • RB,
      Read my answer to Chris Smith, directly above.

      Delete everything you do not want, then do the “Save as”.

      If that is too complex for your understanding, you can hire a tech to do it for you (would be a very nominal fee) or, uninstall Office, and re-Install it again fresh (presuming you have the Office install disc).

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | March 11, 2017 | Reply

      • Thanks. I saw that I could do that too, but I was hoping to fix the glitch. I wish now that I had just done the extra step.
        Unfortunately, I called a “tech support” who turned out to be a scam of sorts. After I gave him permission to troubleshoot and run my computer remotely, and this took some time, he then tried selling me a new computer and new Microsoft office, and when I declined, then “warranties” for a future new computer at several hundred dollars, at which point I knew he wasn’t a tech support (word and new computers both come with warranties).
        Boy, do I feel stupid. And now I worry that my whole computer was hacked and am not sure what to do about it.

        Like

        Comment by RB | March 11, 2017 | Reply

        • RB,
          I’m sorry to hear that.

          I suspect you clicked on an ad instead of an actual search result (most search engines show you 3 -5 ads above the actual results), which is how you got the scammer instead of a legit business… The Internet is full of landmines.

          Since you allowed this person access, I suggest you take your machine to an actual, local, real life store type repair service. Tell them your story. Ask them to add ad blockers as well as make sure you weren’t ‘hacked’. I’m afraid you’re out of the realm of 3-click-fixes, and $20 service bills now..

          If you gave this scammer a credit card number, call the bank (the number on the back of the card) immediately.

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | March 11, 2017 | Reply

          • I didn’t give this person any cc or bank info.
            However, in the past, I have purchased amazon and orchid gifts and food items and Macy’s and Nordstroms on line. I changed my e-mail password immediately and removed old amazon cc info. How much trouble do you suspect I’m in? I have an old computer and old software so wondering what the best “fix” might be.
            My computer worked as before today. But I am a writer, as yet unpublished, but all my novels were on my computer. Do you suppose that has, since I am unpublished, a potential for trouble too?
            I also deeply appreciate any advice and thank you for all you have been helping me with.

            Like

            Comment by RB | March 11, 2017 | Reply

            • RB,
              There is no possible way I could answer those questions, nor would I want to try.

              I can, however, maybe offer my opinion as to ‘best course’ question, by which I take it to mean the classic “new PC or fix old PC?” question: if by “old” you mean more than 5 years old, then, yes the General Rule is to replace with a new machine, and any new software it might need.
              That said, in today’s economy, one can’t forget the budget. The repair shop should be somewhere around $150, and new PC around $500 (or more).

              Like

              Comment by techpaul | March 11, 2017 | Reply

              • Thank you for the help. I appreciate it and your site.

                Like

                Comment by RB | March 12, 2017 | Reply

  8. Thank you, this worked for me! My problem was coincidentally saving a newsletter too. I thought Word was launching a file upon opening and had no idea it was the Blank document I had altered.

    Like

    Comment by Tiff | August 12, 2017 | Reply

    • Tiff
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my article helpful.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 13, 2017 | Reply

  9. Thank you for the update and new information! Appreciated!

    Like

    Comment by RB | August 15, 2017 | Reply


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